Jets fail to play spoilers against the Bills, with big names missing
The New York Jets’ 2021-22 season ended in historic fashion for all the wrong reasons.
Gang Green’s 53-yard output was the worst tally in franchise history, a number partly excused by the fact that Zach Wilson and Co. were missing the team’s top four receivers. All but 13 yards were earned on a 40-yard touchdown from Wilson to Keelan Cole, which obviously wasn’t enough to beat a Buffalo Bills team seeking an AFC East title.
Behind 424 yards, 302 earned by Josh Allen, the Bills (11-6) clinched the division crown and the postseason home game that comes with it. Buffalo topped the Jets by a 27-10 final.
- New York Jets 10 (4-13)
- Buffalo Bills 27 (11-6)
- NFL, Week 18, Final, Box Score
- Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
The game began in a predictable fashion, as Buffalo earned 145 yards and 10 points on their first two possessions. Most of the latter bunch was added through a 10-yard touchdown hookup between Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs.
The pair nearly connected for another but it was erased due to a review that determined he didn’t get both of his feet in bounds on the catch. Tyler Bass booted a 41-yard field goal to create a 10-0 lead.
— Bills Cold Front Report (@ColdFrontReport) January 9, 2022
The Jets didn’t get into opposing territory until the final stages of the first half thanks to a shanked Matt Haack punt that went only 21 yards.
Needing five yards on fourth down to continue the drive, Wilson found Keelan Cole for a 40-yard touchdown, the latter’s first score of the season.
Yup, Cover 1 Robber, and if Zach Wilson saw the drive from Poyer and beat him to the punch, that’s a hell of a QB play. Keelan Cole hits the end zone. 10-7 Bills.pic.twitter.com/Cja5M3ZzUK
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) January 9, 2022
Though the Jets’ defense mostly held strong after the opening two scores, the Bills used a 10-play, 81-yard drive that fell three yards short of the end zone to pick up a Bass field goal from 21 yards away.
The two sides mostly exchanged punts in the third quarter, with another Haack attempt from his own 22 ending in disaster when he fumbled the snap. New York would lose nine yards on the ensuing possession, but Eddy Pineiro salvaged the trip with a 49-yard triple that narrowed the gap to three once again.
This desperation punt attempt 😩 pic.twitter.com/FpcLOyU0Sz
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) January 9, 2022
That, however, turned out to be the Jets’ final points of the season. Buffalo put them away with two more scores, each from Devin Singletary.
The first was a one-yard punch-in before Allen found him on a five-yard passing score that sent Orchard Park into hysterics, as it secured their second consecutive AFC East title, creating their first such streak since a four-year tally that began over three decades prior (1988-91).
Devin Singletary fights his way into the end zone to put the #Bills back up by 10.
— Bills Cold Front Report (@ColdFrontReport) January 10, 2022
Bills just pouring it on now 💯
Devin Singletary with the insurance TD 🙌pic.twitter.com/2s7N0URreh
— Bills Nation (@BillsNationCP) January 10, 2022
The Jets secured their historically low offensive tallies thanks in part to an offensive line that was missing several regulars.
Wilson was haplessly sacked nine times in defeat, while the Jets could only muster four first downs.
Ed Oliver has had such a quality year. Here is lined up at edge (he’s a defensive tackle) attacking the tackle’s outside shoulder, ripping underneath, then spinning back inside to out leverage the tackle for the sack#BillsMafia #Bills #GoBills
— Anthony Cover 1 (@Pro__Ant) January 10, 2022
With their loss, the Jets (4-13) finish winless in AFC East play for the second consecutive season. Their 13-loss total gives them 27 defeats over the last two years, the worst mark in franchise history since they dropped 28 in 1995-96.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags